Seven local government areas, including Njikoka, Awka North, Idemili South, Dunukofia, Awka South, Anaocha and Idemili North, during the governorship election last year, November 18, got over one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) votes but at January 13, 2018 re-run, the total number of registered voters in the seven local government areas was 745, 828 out of which only 67, 872 (9.1 percent) were accredited.
And of this number former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Sir Victor Umeh, Ohamadike, was declared winner with 64, 878 (95.6 percent of the votes cast) and therefore was returned elected.
Umeh, according to INEC, beat 13 other candidates, including current Labour and Employment Minister, Senator Chris Ngige, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite his protest that he was not part of the election. Ngige wondered why INEC was bent on embarrassing him by mischievously including his name as a contender. He threatened a legal action, describing the election as a charade.
But INEC announced, Chris Ngige, as APC candidate and gave him the second position with 975 votes, while Progressive People's Alliance came third with 116 votes.
Other parties that got votes were the Mega Progressive People's Party (MPPP), 111 votes; Labour Party (LP), 95; National Conscience Party (NCP), 72; Alliance for Democratic Congress (ADC), 57; United Progressives Party (UPP), 55; Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), 48 and Action Congress for Democrats (ACD), 33.
The Returning Officer, Prof Charles Esimone, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, announced the results and so it has become. Umeh is now the senator-elect for Anambra Central. Though Umeh and his supporters wouldn't wat anything to stop the journey to the senate, for his enemies and opposition, Umeh must be stopped. But for Anambra Central constituents, a representative in the Upper Chamber is overdue, be it Umeh or anyone.
However, does it mean that Umeh is no longer popular in his senatorial zone, based on the outcome of the election? How can the APGA candidate of all persons emerge victorious with just 64, 878 votes, and why would it be only 67, 872 voters came for accreditation out of 745, 828 registered voters from the senatorial zone? Does this mean that had Senator Chris Ngige of APC or Senator Uche Ekwunife of either APC or formerly of PDP and other strong candidates like former Governor Peter Obi of the PDP had participated that, Umeh wouldn't have won if only the said number of people came out for him?
Does it mean that the majority of the voters who did not turn up were either for PDP or APC and APGA wouldn't have won that election?
Yes, the court had earlier excluded the People's Democratic Party which had won the election in March, 2015, from fielding a candidate in the rerun, but same process had thrown up Senator Andy Uba and Senator Stella Oduah. Why are they still in the senate?
Senator Uche Ekwunife's election was annulled by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that she was not properly nominated by her party.
Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Anambra, thanked voters, election officials, observers and journalists, for contributing to the success and peaceful conduct of the election. Yes! That's normal, even though it was like Umeh contested the election alone and cruised to victory unhindered as predicted. Whatever the permutations ongoing, Umeh is now the Senator-elect.
For me, Umeh is qualified to represent me and he has been declared by INEC to so do. I don't begrudge him and I have no reasons to so do as he remained my greatest friend, no matter his stand about my style of practice of journalism which centres on being the gadfly, no matter the personal loss.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is part of the ruling APC and if with his connections, he couldn't stop the election, what else could he do now?
He should now let the sleeping dogs lie. PDP went to court, Peter Obi was always mentioned. Senator Annie Okonkwo and his brother, Chief Sylvester Okonkwo, went to court, among others, but either divinely or by whatever means, Umeh outsmarted all to emerge victorious. What else should anyone do now? INEC has declared Umeh winner and the National Assembly has to swear him in.
I ask Umeh to represent everybody from the Central as a true politician he has shown by burying many hatchets and shun all primitive tendencies like some of Obiano's aides, who despite that Governor Willie Obiano has won election, still fight shadows on who shall benefit or not from Christmas package of the Governor to journalists in the state. They denied some and branded them opposition, simply because the conscience of society was consciencitised, even when God had mercy on their candidate…Obiano, to return for a second term.